AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes

AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes
I love a sunburnt country / A land of sweeping plains / Of ragged mountain ranges / Of droughts and flooding rains / I love her far horizons / I love her jewel-sea / Her beauty and her terror / The wide brown land for me / ~ Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968)


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Cultural Style

Chinese graves feature in two areas of the Sorrento cemetery, on the southern end of the Mornington Peninsula near Westernport Bay.
One group is gathered at the side of the cemetery near a home fenceline (as above) - the high side of the cemetery terrain.
Others gather on the sharp hillside furthest from the cemetery entrance.
Chinese cemeteries are often found on hillsides. The Chinese believe this affects their feng shui.
(Notice grave ornaments feature at the foot of the grave as does the headstone.)
For some reason, Chinese graves feature more prominently at Sorrento than at any other cemetery on the peninsula.
It is known that the Chinese came to Victoria in the 1850's gold rush days.
But the gold fields were at Ballarat - inland Victoria.
So why there is such a representation of Chinese at Sorrento I don't know.
Are they descendants (many of the graves seem quite modern) associated with the lime-burning trade to Melbourne - a feature of the Mornington Peninsula, especially between Rye and Sorrento - in the 19th century.
Further, Sorrento is not listed HERE as one of the overseas Chinese cemeteries and
HERE is an insight into Chinese burial customs.

Many graves are quite wide and tend to be coloured brown or silver grey but always with gold script..

Some are built well above ground level, but these feature headstones at the back of the grave - quite unlike traditions.

Here is one Chinese? (looks like the Vietnamese style featured below) grave on the high hillside at the far end of the cemetery.
Love the artistic, white etched scenes on this one.
(Click to enlarge + use the magnifier)

And still in the vein of cultural style, here is a grave in Vietnamese style - in the midst of the Chinese graves.

I found this Vietnamese grave also in the midst of the Chinese graves.
The platter of fruit and decorative flowers under glass intrigued me.
They looked so real.

Cultures kept alive
Like an eternal mystique
Everlasting wish

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Haiku Challenge #28 ~ Your Blog Name

Shades of poetry
Songlines from a dreaming soul
My different eyes
My different eyes
Songlines from a dreaming soul
Shades of poetry

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Haiku Challenge #26 ~ Food for Thought

Cradled in my love
Though your world is torn with pain
I am here for you

Written for The Haiku Challenge 2012 - Day 26 – February 26th – Theme: Paint the Image
Inspirational Image from: Google Images, Author: Unknown

Chinatown Shadows

Just off Swanston Street, in Little Bourke Street, Melbourne is Chinatown.
Chinatown dates back to the 1850's and the gold rush days.
Melbourne's Chinatown claims to be the longest, continuous Chinese settlement in the western world.
The photo above captures one of many interesting streetscape features.

Like a sacred sign
A sense of pointing upward
Like a secret code

Streetscape shadows are like reflections of multiple realities - Gemma Wiseman

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Haiku Challenge #24 ~ Dream Walks

Even round life's rocks
Dream walks wait for those who seek
Always tread slowly

Written for The Haiku Challenge 2012 - Day 24 – February 24th – Words: Dream Walks Thanks to Rachana Shakyawar of Humming Today because the phrase 'Dream Walks' was coined from her poem

Cove Skies

Skies over Martha Cove marina on Port Phillip Bay

Like thinking secrets
Balancing alternatives
Indecisive skies

Hosted by Sandy Wren Sylvia

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Haiku Challenge #23 ~ Joy of Giving (ABC, CDE, EFA)

Wandering Dromana beach on a cool summer's day

Just giving some time
Sharing experiences
Connection of souls

Connection of souls
Treasuring the joys and tears
As they walk the beach

As they walk the beach
Love smiles quietly round them
Just giving some time


Stand Up Paddling

Parked (a trailer attached to a 4WD) close to Dromana beach is this sign on material sides protecting tiers of paddle boards.
For some reason their name - Peninsula Stand Up Paddling School -sounds quite amusing!
Not sure why!

Paddling for pleasure
There's ways to walk on water
Thriving new business

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Zara Bate and Family

Dame Zara Bate's grave is at Sorrento cemetery on the Westernport Bay side of the Mornington Peninsula.

Dame Zara (1909-1989) had a number of surnames.
She was born in Kew, Victoria and her maiden name was Dickens.
She married and became Fell in 1935. James Heywood Fell was a British army officer with the rank of Colonel.
They divorced in 1946.
Later in the same year Zara married Harold Holt - a solicitor and member of the House of Representatives. (She knew him before her marriage to James.)
While Harold spent time in Canberra, Zara opened a boutique called Magg in Toorak village, Victoria. Business was so successful that another Magg boutique was opened in Double Bay, Sydney.
In 1961 a Magg evening dress was voted `Gown of the Year’, and in 1962 Miss Australia, Tania Verstak, wore a Magg gown in the Miss International contest, which she won. Zara Holt also advised on Australian uniforms for events such as Expo ‘67 in Montreal and the Mexico Olympic Games in 1968. Ref: HERE

Harold became the 17th Prime Minister of Australia in January 1966.
When he mysteriously disappeared at Victoria's Cheviot Beach on the Mornington Peninsula, on 17 December 1967, Zara was at the Lodge in Canberra.
In 1968 she was appointed DBE.

In 1969, at Toorak, she married the flamboyant federal politician Henry Jefferson Percival Bate till he died in 1984.

Zara retired to (and died in) Surfers Paradise in Queensland, but she is buried at Sorrento cemetery, the nearest cemetery to Cheviot Beach.
And the faded details of the headstone just read:
Dame Commander of the British Empire.
Rest in Peace

Zara's grave is unpretentious, seemingly squeezed between others.
There is barely an outline of the site apart from the headstone.

And a little mystery.
Zara and James had 3 children - Nicholas (Nick - a lawyer), Sam (now a Melbourne lawyer) and Andrew.
(There is rumour that the twins were actually Harold's - before the marriage.
Harold adopted all children and gave them his surname when he married Zara.))
Quite a distance back from Zara's grave is this headstone.
One of the last born twins?
It lacks detail as does Zara's headstone, simply stating:
Andrew John Hugh Holt
Born 23.5.1939
Died 21.12.1997

Zara's marriage to James broke down soon after the twins were born in 1939.

More family connections:
Sam's son Robert is a corporate lawyer and owns a bookshop in Noosa Heads, Queensland.
Andrew's son is Christopher.
Sophie and Pippa are daughters of Nicholas.
Sophie's home is in Portsea. She is involved in the designer fashion labels just like her grandmother and is renowned for reviving Elle B and Country Road. For more details see HERE!
Pippa Holt is a Contributing Editor for Vogue. Prior to Vogue she worked at The Times as Fashion Editor of the Saturday Times Magazine and before that she was at Australian Vogue. She lives between London and Dublin.

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Haiku Challenge #21 ~ Dedication

Humble wash basket
May you enjoy empty days
And feel beautiful

Written for The Haiku Challenge 2012 - Day 21 – February 21st – Theme: Dedication

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Haiku Challenge #19 ~ Seasons

A late summer view of Dromana beach looking toward Mount Martha on the Mornington Peninsula

Those softer warm days
When Summer whispers Autumn
Come close to my soul

Written for The Haiku Challenge 2012 - Day 19 – February 19th – Theme: Seasons Type: Kigo

Shadowy Swanston Colours

Deep shadows in Swanston Street Melbourne play round a curbside floral display.

Bright shining flowers
Do you feel like champions
Breaking down shadows

In the crucible of shadows languish the secret colours of life ~ Gemma Wiseman

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Haiku Challenge #17 ~ Wait + Paint the Image

Lost, tossed and crumpled
Hungry eyes litter the street
Wait for light to change

Written for The Haiku Challenge 2012 - Day 17 – February 17th – Theme or Word: Wait + Paint the Image
Inspirational Image Clicked by Anand of: Apple Blossom's Photography

Fading Summer

A view of Dromana beach on Port Phillip Bay.

Almost empty beach
Sweet summer days are fading
Heavy clouds hang low

Hosted by Sandy Wren Sylvia

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Haiku Challenge #16 ~ Sin in Haibun

There's a house not far from me that never changes.
It simply is.
To me, it is like a broken link in the chain of life. It is like a stage without actors, a sky without weather changes, an earth drought-ridden.
It's a sin to let a house bathe in the sunlight and shadows of the seasons, shuttered, alone...

No circulation
No tending of the garden
No family love

A grim door that never greets nor farewells, stands like a locked memory - of someone.
A gated driveway locked in bland nowhere. Somehow there is a sense of a child, discarded, wondering if parents will ever remember to come home; like a body adrift in limbo, seeking a heart and a soul.

Scraps of energy
Like shredded, lost momentos
Mere driveway relics

There's a house not far from me that never breathes, never blinks.
It simply survives.
It simply is.

*150 words

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A place of beauty in the Western Tiers


View near Blackwood Park Cottages, Mole Creek

New Landscapes

New Landscapes
New Worlds

Archive of Blog Quotes

  • A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent
  • Autumn is an introspective season when stray thoughts of the mind dive into the mystique of the soul - Gemma Wiseman
  • Autumn is the bridesmaid of Summer and the flowergirl of Winter ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Autumn whispers the tones of yesterday in a minor key ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Love is born / With a dark and troubled face, / When hope is dead / And in the most unlikely place; / Love is born, / Love is always born. - Michael Leunig's Christmas Song Cycle "Southern Star"
  • Spring paints the stars of heaven in Earth colours ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Summer sizzles with a sibilant hush / Broken by dreams of / Clinking ice ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. - G.K. Chesterton
  • Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. - Stanley Horowitz
  • Winter is the fire, simmering lonely in the soul ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Winter is the shadow, the etching of the seasons in the mist ~ Gemma Wiseman

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